Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts New!  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mjytemp
Samba Member


Joined: January 14, 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island
mjytemp is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:59 am    Post subject: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

First off, i'm not sure if it is air cooled, or a water cooled engine. I understand that 83 was the last model of the air cooled, though I haven't asked the owner. It is manual steering (no power steering), so perhaps you guys can diagnose it from that fact?
Has 214kilometers,

It's owned by a elderly woman, who says she has taken care of it mechanically, taking it to her reliable mechanic, so I think I can trust her there, at least i'll be taking it straight to a mechanic if i'm thinking about the purchase.

As far as the body goes, it's in pretty rough shape. It's not TERRIBLE, but it definitely has some small dings, considering she's an older woman, she said she dinged it up, so that makes me worry about the mechanics of the machine. Time will tell.

She's asking 4000 CAD, but I know i can probably get her down to 2500. I'm not sure if she really knows how much the van is worth, so she threw that number out there, the offer is too good to refuse.

She also offered her granddaughter to me, who appears to be the same age, comedic times....

Anyways,

Anything to strongly watch out for in these 83 models, from personal experience or if you know facts in general?

ANY information is greatly appreciated, i'm recently new to the Westfalia community and i'm happy to have grown a desire for these machines.

As far as maintaining the machine, i'm fine with that. I actually want to learn more about mechanics as a hobby, so this is a good way to start Smile

thanks guys!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Fiddlestyx
Samba Member


Joined: July 08, 2015
Posts: 351
Location: Texas
Fiddlestyx is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:04 am    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

The air-cooled only has a grill between the headlights. A water-cooled will also have a grill just above the front bumper

I would be more worried about rust than dings and dents. The Vanagon rusts from the inside out. Check all the seams, if it's a Westfalia check the lower seam on the drivers side (this is called kitchen rust) and can be a nightmare. If you know how to cut and weld, everything can be fixed, but it takes time. If you don't know how to weld, A Vanagon will teach you how (among a lot of other things) but it takes time.

We would be better able to help you if you can get pictures.

If it's a running vehicle and hasn't been sitting for years, I would not hesitate to buy it for $2500CAD. (my opinion)

If you do buy it, before you do any serious driving in it change all the rubber fuel lines and also make sure the tires aren't passenger car tires.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Wildthings
Samba Member


Joined: March 13, 2005
Posts: 45567

Wildthings is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

If you like heat and an easily defrosted windshield the water cooled is the way to go. Note that there was also a diesel available in 1983, which is less than desirable if you don't like being the slowest vehicle out there. The 1.9 WBXer engine is really quite dependable and has close to the same power as a 2.1L.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
?Waldo?
Samba Member


Joined: February 22, 2006
Posts: 8925
Location: Where?
?Waldo? is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

While the lower grill is typical of the water cooleds it is not a definitive indication. I have seen several air-cooleds with the lower grill.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Ahwahnee
Samba Member


Joined: June 05, 2010
Posts: 9246
Location: Mt Lemmon, AZ
Ahwahnee is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

I'll bite - when you look thru the grille of an air-cooled, what do you see?

Is it obvious there in no radiator back there?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Merian
Samba Member


Joined: January 04, 2014
Posts: 5200
Location: Orygun
Merian is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

is that really a great price for a beat up tintop a/c??

or is it a Westy?

you need to talk to the mech. - then hire your own mech. to check it out

how does it drive?

detail when major services were done
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
mjytemp
Samba Member


Joined: January 14, 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island
mjytemp is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
is that really a great price for a beat up tintop a/c??

or is it a Westy?

you need to talk to the mech. - then hire your own mech. to check it out

how does it drive?

detail when major services were done


It is a Westfalia! At least that's what it says on the the back top left corner in faded prints.
I mean, she says she takes it to a mechanic and it's mechanically sound, so i'll talk to the mech and see what he has to say.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
tarandusVDub
Samba Member


Joined: August 27, 2010
Posts: 1581
Location: Between Here and There
tarandusVDub is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

Photos?
_________________
1984 Westy, base model, 2WD. Plus some goodies.
________________________
Sold: 1972 Bay Campmobile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
DwarfVader
Samba Member


Joined: July 28, 2015
Posts: 646
Location: Missoula, MT
DwarfVader is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

dings are one thing... rust is another.


If it's dinged up but the mechanicals are good (have your mechanic tell you that much,) then 2500CAD isn't a bad price...

You said Vanagon, not camper, but I don't want to assume... If it's a camper, watercooled 83.5, with minor dings and little rust... and your mechanic says things are in decent shape.

Pull the trigger.
_________________
- oderint dum metuant -

I'll find my van someday, or it will find me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
tarandusVDub
Samba Member


Joined: August 27, 2010
Posts: 1581
Location: Between Here and There
tarandusVDub is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

mjytemp wrote:
Merian wrote:
is that really a great price for a beat up tintop a/c??

or is it a Westy?

you need to talk to the mech. - then hire your own mech. to check it out

how does it drive?

detail when major services were done


It is a Westfalia! At least that's what it says on the the back top left corner in faded prints.
I mean, she says she takes it to a mechanic and it's mechanically sound, so i'll talk to the mech and see what he has to say.


If it says "Westfalia" on it, it is likely a westy camper...or at least a pop top.
_________________
1984 Westy, base model, 2WD. Plus some goodies.
________________________
Sold: 1972 Bay Campmobile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
mjytemp
Samba Member


Joined: January 14, 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island
mjytemp is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

DwarfVader wrote:
dings are one thing... rust is another.


If it's dinged up but the mechanicals are good (have your mechanic tell you that much,) then 2500CAD isn't a bad price...

You said Vanagon, not camper, but I don't want to assume... If it's a camper, watercooled 83.5, with minor dings and little rust... and your mechanic says things are in decent shape.

Pull the trigger.


It says Westfalia on the backend, so i assume it's a westfalia.. It has a pop top, but unfortunately it has holes and needs replacement.
It's got all the camping necessities inside, but again, it's not in emasculate condition, the propane talk is old and rusty (haven't had a chance to look at it) and I don't think the water works, but i could be wrong on that department.

How expensive are these replacements, if the propane tank needs a cleaning or worse off, a replacement and the water tank doesn't work?

I'm super tempted.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Fiddlestyx
Samba Member


Joined: July 08, 2015
Posts: 351
Location: Texas
Fiddlestyx is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

The propane tank is about $350USD for a new one, you can shop around for that.
The water tank might need a pump, ~$30USD. I doubt you'd need a whole new tank.
Check out sites like Bus Depot, Van-Cafe, Gowesty etc. I don't know if there are any Vanagons in junkyards near you, but that can also be a good place for hard to find parts.

The little stuff can certainly add up.
It all depends on how much you want to fix it up.

If you plan on using it right away before you even start to think about things like this, you need to go over safety issues. Fuel lines, rubber brake lines, tires etc. The luxury items like propane and water (house) are something you can do without for a while. The necessities need to come first.

Ahwahnee wrote:
I'll bite - when you look thru the grille of an air-cooled, what do you see?

Is it obvious there in no radiator back there?


The AC condenser, if it has AC.


Last edited by Fiddlestyx on Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
pioneer1
Samba Member


Joined: February 11, 2008
Posts: 2042
Location: Ontario Canada
pioneer1 is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

Your questions speak volumes about your skills and are typical for first time vintage vehicle buyers. You want one but don't have a clue about mechanics,systems and how things work. If you have a good job and disposable income buy it.If you are barely making ends meet and have a young family to support this might not be time in your life for a Westfalia. You are looking at least another $6k to get it roadworthy and keep it on the road.
_________________
"Always waiting for tomorrow ruined everything"

'85 Porsche 911 Targa

'76 Westfalia project
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
mjytemp
Samba Member


Joined: January 14, 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island
mjytemp is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

DwarfVader wrote:
dings are one thing... rust is another.


If it's dinged up but the mechanicals are good (have your mechanic tell you that much,) then 2500CAD isn't a bad price...

You said Vanagon, not camper, but I don't want to assume... If it's a camper, watercooled 83.5, with minor dings and little rust... and your mechanic says things are in decent shape.

Pull the trigger.


It says Westfalia on the backend, so i assume it's a westfalia.. It has a pop top, but unfortunately it has holes and needs replacement.
It's got all the camping necessities inside, but again, it's not in emasculate condition, the propane talk is old and rusty (haven't had a chance to look at it) and I don't think the water works, but i could be wrong on that department.

How expensive are these replacements, if the propane tank needs a cleaning or worse off, a replacement and the water tank doesn't work?

I'm super tempted.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
mjytemp
Samba Member


Joined: January 14, 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island
mjytemp is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

Fiddlestyx wrote:
The propane tank is about $350USD for a new one, you can shop around for that.
The water tank might need a pump, ~$30USD. I doubt you'd need a whole new tank.
Check out sites like Bus Depot, Van-Cafe, Gowesty etc. I don't know if there are any Vanagons in junkyards near you, but that can also be a good place for hard to find parts.

The little stuff can certainly add up.
It all depends on how much you want to fix it up.

If you plan on using it right away before you even start to think about things like this, you need to go over safety issues. Fuel lines, rubber brake lines, tires etc. The luxury items like propane and water (house) are something you can do without for a while. The necessities need to come first.

Ahwahnee wrote:
I'll bite - when you look thru the grille of an air-cooled, what do you see?

Is it obvious there in no radiator back there?


The AC condenser, if it has AC.


Thing is the vehicle is her daily driver, so i'm not worried about it mechanically, and before i decide to purchase it, i'll have a mechanic look at it.

It has a replaced engine, and i'll find out more, she has all the paper work from the last 10 or so years.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Terry Kay
Banned


Joined: June 22, 2003
Posts: 13331

Terry Kay is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

Prior to falling for any temptation, I would find out if it's air cooled or water cooled.

Two different vehicular arena's of consideration, and pretty important.
_________________
T.K.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Merian
Samba Member


Joined: January 04, 2014
Posts: 5200
Location: Orygun
Merian is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

mjytemp wrote:
[ it's not in emasculate condition...


check underneath
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Marcq
Samba Member


Joined: June 15, 2015
Posts: 231
Location: Corona, CA
Marcq is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

mjytemp wrote:


As far as maintaining the machine, i'm fine with that. I actually want to learn more about mechanics as a hobby, so this is a good way to start Smile

thanks guys!


You'll be served Wink

Marc..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
fxr
Samba Member


Joined: December 07, 2014
Posts: 1552
Location: Bay area CA
fxr is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

mjytemp wrote:
it's not in emasculate condition,

That's a relief!
Quote:
the propane talk is old and rusty (haven't had a chance to look at it)

They are made very, very robust in the first place - outside patina is no indicator of integrity. You can get it pressure tested if you're concerned.
Quote:
and I don't think the water works, but i could be wrong on that department.

The least of your worries. Easily sorted if you have a mind to it.
Quote:

How expensive are these replacements, if the propane tank needs a cleaning or worse off, a replacement and the water tank doesn't work?

I'm super tempted.

Your immediate concerns should be the fitness for purpose of all the rubber bits - fuel lines, coolant lines (though they are usually OK, and failure is very obvious when it happens), and tires.

If it runs, grab it. Be prepared to spend all your spare time and money learning how to, and then doing, all the maintenance necessary to keep you from worrying about breaking down at an inconvenient time/place. A family AAA membership might be helpful here. Wink
_________________
Jim Crowther
1984 1.9l EJ22 Westy Wolfsburg Edition
Vespa GTS 300
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
mjytemp
Samba Member


Joined: January 14, 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Vancouver Island
mjytemp is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Thinking About Buying a 1983 Vanagon Reply with quote

Okay so here is a more thorough description of the 1984 Westfalia Vanagon (it says westfalia back of the pop up, and vanagon GL on the back of the frame).

It had a rebuilt engine in 2004. (paper to prove it). This lady bought the van in 2010 or so. The old lady used it as her daily driver but mind you, she is the type of woman that doesn't do much, drives to the store, picks up friends, she's old and fragile, doesn't drive it fast etc.
SO, it seems to be in great condition - When you start turn it over, SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T TURN OVER. She says you have to wait a few seconds and try again, then it turns over, once it's running the van seems to be doing great, lots of power on the highway.
Original 214k and I imagine around 100k on the rebuilt.
There was lots of paper work for the past work that has been done on the vehicle, since 2004 or so. Lots of money put into it.

Pros

Rebuilt Engine, reasonably low km's, lots of power when driving, runs smooth, took it to her mechanic and he said last time she came in the van had nothing wrong with it.
All interior is in relatively decent condition, I plan on sleeping it this for the next year so I really need a reliable vehicle.
Owned by a elderly woman, she's fragile, doesn't drive the thing down to the ground, and recently stopped driving because she dinged the front headlight.
The ONLY REASON she is even consider selling it is because I approached her doorstep asking about the van. Other than that, it would be her daily driver for who knows how long.
Not much rust on the van, only around the wheel, but it is so SMALL that it would take years to be terribly so. Underneath the van is VERY LITTLE RUST, I was told to check this out as it reflects the condition.
Seriously, I think this car is in solid condition, just it's older and the mechanic said regarding its age, anything can happen etc which made me a little fishy.

The cons

Now, mind you, I don't know a WHOLE LOT when it comes to mechanics and what to look for but before i even think of purchasing it, i'll take it to my mechanic whom I trust wholeheartedly.
The interior pop up is COVERED in mold. This reflects the price she is asking, the entire pop up is basically mold, even though she drives it, I guess she didn't keep up with those stakes. To get a new pop up roof/canvas is 400-500?
I'm not entirely sure what this issue would be, but ONLY SOMETIMES when you start the van, it doesn't kick. As if the battery is close to be dying, or something to do with the starter..... IS THIS COMMON FOR A VANAGON/WESTFALIA? What problem would this be? My first test drive I tried to turn it over and nothing clicked, waited a few seconds and tried again, turned over just fine...?!
Propane doesn't work, tank is rusty and corroded.
Engine seems to be in decent condition from the looks of it, though when you look under the hood, the entire engine seems to shake when it's on. I guess with such an old van, comes a bit rough of a engine.

My personal notes -

I will be using this as not only my daily driver, but basically living in it for the next year or so. My work has me traveling, and with my current lifestyle, I am traveling often, for example, i'll be doing a 8 hour drive up to the interior of my province, then after a month of work, 10 hours even MORE NORTH, one month later driving back those 10 hours.

Basically, i'll be doing 3-5 thousand km's this summer alone, then i may be going down to california for travels/work in the summer, so another 3-5 thousand kms.

Again, the reason I am pushing towards buying it; she would driving it on a daily basis without my knocking on her front door asking if she is wanting to sell it. So that has me thinking either she is so happy to be getting rid of it for how much of a headache it is, or she sees a younger man inspired to purchase the vehicle and is willing to spare a decent price


SHE IS ASKING 4000 cad. I can probably trade her my 97 volkswagen golf which is worth roughly 3500, or if she refuses, give her 3000 cash and see how she settles on it.

let me know what you guys think. I didn't have time to snap any pictures; I wish i had.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB